"Let Them Stand on Their Own"

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Golin with Jaipur FootLimb & Brace Artificial Legcondensed from an article by Marcia Goodrich in the Michigan Tech magazine

From the Holy Bible, Acts 14:8-10 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed, and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

Larry Golin realizes that most people have two reasonably good legs; however many people do not. Seeing people’s physical needs, Golin has chosen to serve others. Indeed he is walking a different road, one that began in 1956 with an overwhelming conversion experience. “I went to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning, my whole life had changed,” he says, “From then on, it’s been a blessing, and a blessing, and a blessing.”

He found himself called, both to spread the Christian gospel and to help the helpless, handicapped, and poor. For 41 years, Golin has provided physical therapy services in Bangladesh and throughout the world through his Ministries to the Disabled.

Thousands had lost their legs during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence, Golin recalls. The awkward wood-and-leather prosthesis was heavy, ugly, and didn’t hold up in the monsoon climate. Then he learned of a revolutionary new artificial limb developed in India, the Jaipur foot, and quickly adapted it.

“People run with it, climb trees with it, pull their rickshaws with it, and it looks like a real foot,” Golin says. “The materials cost about US$40, and we can make one in 45 minutes from local materials.”

In 1992, Golin and dedicated Bangladeshi clinicians opened their first artificial limb camp. “Thirty-two amputees came that first time,” he remembers. “We fitted them with legs free of charge. They crawled in, and they walked out.” Since then, the team has launched 14 camps in Bangladesh. They have also added an artificial knee joint developed at LeTourneau University. “Now amputees can do everything they did before they lost their legs,” Golin happily says. He fervently explains the source of His joy, “The greatest humanitarian that ever lived was Jesus Christ.”